BY Harsimran Kaur ON July 29 , 2022 IN BOOK REVIEW, LIES OUR MOTHERS TOLD US (THE INDIAN WOMAN’S BURDEN) By NILANJANA BHOWMICK-NON-FICTION
The sores crack beneath my feet—an excrescence that testifies the walk along the fragilities of life has been an extrapolation of customary debunk. These sores are a daiquiri of stentorian cries that are never heard and the stoicism considered to be a waste of time by the patriarchy.
I, the woman, believe:
- If empowerment could provide debouch where inhibitions and prejudices are whiffed off in the air.
- If the male panjandrum stops being a protuberant brat of gender inequality.
- Imperialism was a kangaroo baby pocket of the British which was fought against with pride; male imperialism is a feed of the atavistic incandescently cutting of women off their structural root. This dominion is not a need but an intrinsic pathology of male supremacy.
These thoughts are every woman’s defining moment to live life honorably. A rough patch here, a rough patch there—life’s intransigence is a nomadic bully! Today these patches seek a reflection of their imperfections for greener pastures, and the book “Lies Our Mothers told us” is a stubborn fusillade of shots aimed to cut open the poignant wounds—these are in fact the truths women live by, though faulty in nature.
Intellectually stimulating but emotionally distressing at the same time, the book by renowned journalist, Nilanjana Bhowmick, dissects the enfeebled minds and bodies; some lost in the plenipotentiary charade of the male patriarchy and some who came out of the woods to cut the edge of male supremacy, to graft their own identity.
The book is like a story—a story of me, you and innumerable women around the globe who have silently suffered the servitude of being single, the mordant morphology of being married, the disparagement of being divorced and the wary whirl gig widow. They are identified not by their names but the proximity of peril that surrounds them, each with a formidable courage to not let the spirit die even if it means to survive the odds, each gargling a sour brash of immiscible roles, for the society to keep us in check and to usher in validations every now and then.
The most scorching rash in the tempest heat is the issue of domestic abuse leading to mental emasculation. The book presents a compendium of statistics of how mental health has been adversely affected,for women have been roasted incandescently to peel off their soul of their desires and ambitions. The Nirbhaya gang-rape ordeal to the traumatic Kathua rape horror has fitted a sledge hammer in a woman’s hand to break all shackles to feel protected and safe. The ‘superwoman’ syndrome has become Spartan—a viable effrontery to a woman’s psyche—pledge to be ‘safer’ than ‘super’.
The book rests on privileges a woman can enjoy but need not, as her flying wings may be tempted to beat the chicanery of the wind. The indisputable subject of ‘gender equality’ sits as a crowning glory on the fine upholstery of the government institutions but the stark reality is of “the big fish eats the small fish.” And the formidable journey of woman as a career enthusiast has propelled more insecurities among men.
Mothers are always an inspiration; their success, agony, stoicism and sacrifices forms the basis of how their daughters can learn from their experiences and build a better world for themselves.
‘Adjust Karo’, ‘husband is first’, ‘chup raho’ (be silent), and the ubiquitous ‘a woman has to sacrifice’ are prevalent norms but women need a battle-axe to cut these desperate inequities from under the ground. We, as woman, must take this responsibility to draw water from the well with utmost care so that we may not slip along the rope into a deep hollow grave.
Thoroughly absorbing and poignant!!